22. December 2010 09:59
On December 17th the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) released the Rural and Northern Health Care Framework/Plan Stage 1 Report. The report is the product of a Rural and Northern Health Care Panel the government set-up to define a vision, guiding principles, strategic directions and guidelines for MOHLTC and the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to use to assist them address access to care in rural, remote and northern communities. This is a long awaited and welcome step from the Ministry which has had the Panel report for some months now. Stage 2 will be a broad public consultation and will include on-line and regional round table elements beginning in January. Stage 3 will be the Development of the Framework/Plan itself.
Given that access to quality health care for rural and northern citizens is a long recognized issue in Ontario the Rural Ontario Institute encourages the Ministry to move through these stages with deliberate, clear purpose and a sense of urgency. The Rural Ontario Institute will be reviewing the report and communicating with rural stakeholders and health experts to contribute to the consultations so that action can be taken quickly on good, well-founded recommendations. We encourage anyone with an interest in rural and northern health to familiarize themselves with the Panel report and make their voices heard.
Norman Ragetlie, Director, Policy & Stakeholder Engagement